I just did something like you are thinking of doing, except mine ended up a sparkly custom jem type of thing. I attach some pics for you though showing the steps involved in re-finishing. Please bear in mind that I did all the painting simply with aerosol cans.
Rg750 body stripped. Particularly ugly wood, blechhh- really needs an opaque finish... and monkey grip for the jem freaks....
Fill in holes and dents, use some high build primer to seal wood and smooth out again with medium grit.
Keep applying primers and smooth with fine paper until there are no dents or scratches, basically keep repeating until you are happy that the surface is good enough to accept your final colour coats.
I applied a special gold basecoat, then the crackle black top coat
Whacked on many layers of clear, and buffed until I was happy with the surface
Then assemble your almighty rock axe and hope its what you envisioned in the first place!
You'll just have to find the suitable paints to do your matt type finish, it may take some research and experimenting before you find the right one for the job. If you need more help or advice, feel free to ask or PM.